Biodiversity & Cultural Diversity

Biological diversity refers to all living organisms, their genetic material and the ecosystems of which they are a part. It is usually described at three levels: genetic, species, and ecosystem. Biological diversity is the cornerstone of sustainable agriculture and world food security. The loss of cultural diversity (including languages) and traditional knowledge -- of farm communities and indigenous cultures -- is intricately linked to the loss of biological diversity. Indigenous peoples and farming communities are the creators, custodians and continuing innovators of biological knowledge and resources. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (often referred to as the CBD or Biodiversity Convention) is a legally-binding framework for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

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In accordance with CBD Decision X/13, paragraph 4, the following paper is submitted to

A new report by the ETC Group concludes that the social, environmental and bio-weapons threats of synthetic biology surpass the possible dangers and abuses of biotech. The full text of the 70-page report, Extreme Genetic Engineering: An Introduction to Synthetic Biology, is available for downloading free-of-charge on the ETC Group website.

ETC Group reports on trends in intellectual property relating to nano-scale technologies. With nanotechnology, the reach of exclusive monopoly patents is not just on life, but all of nature. Accordingly, ETC Group refers to nanotech's "second nature" patents.

by Lucy Sharratt

Today Terminator was discussed again at COP8 - and the moratorium still holds! No country dared to challenge the consensus of last week.

Some governments made slight changes to a specific part of the text but this did not relate to the moratorium it was just enough to make us nervous!

PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA– In a unanimous decision of 194 countries, the United Nation's Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) today formally urged nation states to regulate synthetic biology (SynBio), a new extreme form of genetic engineering. The landmark decision follows ten days of hard-fought negotiations between developing countries and a small group of wealthy biotech-friendly economies.